Optum Health taps former CVS exec as CEO

There is a new leader at the helm of Optum Health, owned by UnitedHealth Group, to oversee the organization's 135,000 team members.

Amar Desai, MD, announced he had been named CEO of Optum Health on his LinkedIn page July 19, noting his excitement to lead the organization.

"Those of you that know me are familiar with my commitment to team, impact and serving others," he wrote. "I can't think of a more distinctive platform to make a larger difference in the health and health care of communities across the country. I am looking forward to working with our team who always puts patients and caregivers at the center of everything we do, and focus on making each interaction and moment with our patients matter."

Dr. Desai spent the last year as president of healthcare delivery at CVS Health before joining UnitedHealth Group as executive-in-residence in April. He isn't a stranger to Optum either. Dr. Desai spent time as president and CEO of Optum California and Optum Pacific West from 2019 to 2022.

He also has experience as an associate clinical professor of medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC and served as president of HealthcarePartners, a DaVita Medical Group.

Optum Health reported a successful second quarter ending June 30, adding 900,000 patients to its value-based care arrangements. The company also reported a 33 percent increase in year over year revenue per customer. Overall revenue for Optum Health was nearly $24 billion, a 36.6 percent increase over the same period last year.

However, Optum has experienced a high volume of executive turnover in the last few months. Eleven C-suite leaders and divisional leaders have exited since March, including Optum Health's senior vice president and Chief AI Officer Dennis Chornenky and Optum's President and COO John Prince, who joined the board of directors for MultiPlan.

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